The provincial government says tackling rural crime is a high priority.
 
Over the summer, justice minister Kaycee Madu went on a tour across the province to hear from rural Albertans about their concerns regarding crime.
 
Madu attended more than 60 events and meetings with residents, police, and victims' services organizations. He also held several town halls, including one in Strathcona County and one in Bruderheim.
 
In an August town hall meeting with minister Madu, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk said one of the biggest concerns she heard from residents was the issue of "the catch and release of repeat offenders," an issue which was echoed in a briefing from the province last Thursday (Oct.28).
 
Other issues highlighted during the tour was inadequate police response times, victims' services and the potential for a provincial police force.

"I want to thank the many Albertans who shared their concerns about rural crime. What you told us will help inform our ongoing work to ensure Albertans feel safe and protected in their homes, no matter where they live," said Madu.
 
"We know the federal government must step up by enacting laws that put a stop to the revolving door justice system that allows repeat offenders to victimize law-abiding citizens over and over again, and we echo the call of Albertans for them to act quickly on this."
 
The province has already taken several steps to reduce rural crime, including the Rural Alberta Provincial Integrated Defence (RAPID) Response system, which makes sheriffs and Fish and Wildlife officers available to respond to a broader range of calls to reduce response times in rural areas.